∴ Old Manhattan

Old Manhattan
(click to enlarge)

We had guests at Andrew’s Bar and Kelly’s Kitchen and Rest this week. My sister, Pam, and her family paid us a visit from Illinois. As part of our hospitality, I laid in an assortment of local craft beer and opened the bar for cocktail experimentation. We ended up with a new drink.

Pam is fond of bourbon and bourbon cocktails. An echo of our mom’s younger days, she enjoys an Old Fashioned. I’m partial to Manhattans, a close cousin to the Old Fashioned. With a little tweaking she was pleased to enjoy what I’m calling an Old Manhattan. It’s a simple riff on both drinks, incorporating the sugar-sweetened bourbon of an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan’s rich undertone of quality vermouth/amaro, tied together with orange and cherry bark-vanilla bitters. To wit:

  • two ounces good bourbon. I used Hudson Baby Bourbon from Tuthilltown Spirits.
  • one ounce Carpano Antica Formula amaro
  • ¼ ounce agave syrup
  • 1½ dash (12 drops) orange bitters. Mine are from Bittercube.
  • ½ dash (4 drops) cherry bark-vanilla bitters
  • 1 bing cocktail cherry
  • a large, thin slice of orange peal

Stir the liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice for thirty seconds. Drop a bing cherry garnish into a cocktail tumbler, followed by one large ice cube. Do not use refrigerator ice maker cubes. Aspire to greatness and buy yourself a cube mold or spherical mold and make big cubes.

Pour the chilled cocktail over the cube, then garnish with a large, thin orange slice. Use a Y-handle peeler, not a blade on a stick.

In Pam’s words, “this is really good.” High praise.